Guatemala Log #1
On the first day of the 2014/15 Guatemala Winter institute we had an introductory morning briefing to talk about program details, safety guidelines, culture shock and logistics.
Later on that day we would proceed to Roosevelt Hospital in Guatemala City, one of the the largest hospitals in Guatemala.
As we arrived, Head of the biomedical engineering department at the hospital, Hector, showed as around and introduced us to several different projects that the EWH engineering team could work on during our three weeks.
The following is a list of the projects we found on the first day at the hospital:
1) 14 Dialysis Machines: In the basement of the hospital we found about 14 dialysis machines out of order. If can put these back into service it will be vital to find and teach a technician at the hospital about the machines as they require continuous maintenance. See picture in the gallery below.
2) 7 vital signs monitors: These machines actually work perfectly (according the emergency department staff) but the cables are destroyed. We are looking into getting a hold of all the cables from the emergency department so that we can find out if we can fix them.
3) The baby bottle project: The baby bottle cleaner of the hospital is broken. 1500 babies need to be fed everyday there are 45 different recipes for the baby food depending on the state of the babies. For example prematurely born babies are prescribed more oily food. Thus the department staff must manually clean 1500 bottles a day. They don’t have any proper substitute tools and it gets really difficult to clean the baby bottles. See pictures in the gallery below.
4) Tortilla machine (kitchen): This machine is working but the tortillas are sticking to each other and one side was burned more than the other. Sometimes the tortillas are cut in half. In effect a lot of dough is wasted. See picture in the gallery below.
5) Bread oven (kitchen): Issues with the temperature regulation.
6) The outside yard with broken medical equipment: Most of the equipment has been outside in the rain and it has become rusty. It is likely though that there are several valualble spare parts in the “junk yard”. See pictures in the gallery below.
Additionally a pre-trip equipment assessment was made by biomedical Joe Leier who is assisting EWH 2014/15 Winter Institute.
7) Three additional vital signs monitors.
8) Seven suction pumps.
9) Three defibrilators were found, condition onknown.
10) Five Electrocardiographs.
For now we will start working on projects 1, 2 and 4. I will follow the progress of the projects here on this site. Stay tuned!